04/27/05 — Eagles explode late at Spring Creek

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Eagles explode late at Spring Creek

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 27, 2005 2:02 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Through six innings, Rosewood junior Trey Kriger already had a dream game for most lead-off hitters -- reaching base on all four plate appearances, stealing five bases and scoring three times.

In the seventh, the junior added to the impressive evening with an RBI single, followed by a grand slam as the Eagles turned a five-run lead after six into a 20-4 blowout at the Gators' field.

The 13-run final inning saw Rosewood send 16 batters to the plate with seven different players getting hits. Kriger's first varsity homer highlighted the rally, while Kyle Bunn, Brantley Ellis, Dave Martel and Kevin Shanle all drove in runs.

"Coach (Scott) Adams stresses getting on base and stirring things up by stealing bases to get things going," Kriger said. "I didn't really mean to hit it out. I just wanted to try and get on base.

"We've been playing pretty good lately, and it was just my time to get a good hit."

Spring Creek, coming off of a huge win on Friday against Princeton, committed two more errors in the seventh and finished with eight on the game - leading to numerous unearned runs.

"Coming off of that Princeton win, I'm surprised we would come out and play this way," Spring Creek coach Roger May said. "Baseball is a funny game."

The win capped a three-game sweep in the regular season for Rosewood over Spring Creek as the Eagles (8-7 overall) improved to 5-4 in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference. The Gators (6-11 overall) fell to 4-5 against league foes. Only the top two teams in the conference will qualify for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Kyle Bunn (6-3) went the distance on the mound for Rosewood and worked with a lead for the full, seven-inning stint. The right-hander allowed a base-runner each inning, but didn't yield a hit until bottom of the fourth with two outs, when Josh Singleton tripled..

Bunn finished with six strikeouts against five walks, allowing six hits and two earned runs.

"Kyle didn't have his breaking stuff, but he pitched well," Adams said. "Our outfielders made some nice catches early on, and I was impressed with that."

Timothy Rogers endured the loss for Spring Creek, tossing just one full inning and pitching to one batter in the second. Rogers gave up four runs but none of them were earned.

Anthony Brogden proved the most effective of the Gator relievers, tossing 4 1/3, striking out five and giving up just two runs (one earned). Brogden walked four and gave up four hits. Devin Graves and John Kelly combined to pitch the final 1 2/3.

The Eagles struck for three in the first when Dustin Overman and Ellis provided back-to-back RBI hits, after Kriger raced home on an errant throw to third by the catcher on the second of his five steals on the game.

The Eagles tacked on one more run each in the second, third, fourth and sixth. Holt Rains delivered a run-scoring single in the third, plating Overman, who finished with two hits and three runs. That run proved to be the only earned run of the Eagles four in innings two-through-six.

"We took advantage of our opportunities and we put it in play," Adams said. "We needed a breakout game after last Friday (1-0 loss to Ayden-Grifton). We did the little things we needed to do to win the game.

"Every conference game is big."

Overman, Ellis and Shanle backed Kriger's effort with two-hit performances of their own at the plate. Ellis doubled twice and knocked in two, while Shanle came off the bench to drive home one and scored twice. Overman was also intentionally walked two times.

Spring Creek's Blake Thompson knocked in two of his team's four runs and provided an RBI double in the fifth to score Derek Kirby as the Gators pulled within four at 6-2. Thompson added a run-scoring single in the seventh, while Rogers and Ray Grady also picked up one RBI each.

Kirby, Graves and Adam Hinson also recorded hits for Spring Creek, which travels to Farmville Central on Friday.

Rosewood faces county rival Charles B. Aycock today, before returning to Carolina action next Tuesday against North Johnston.

Notes: The Eagles have now outscored the Gators 34-7 in their three match-ups this season ... Rosewood is 24-21 in league play since 2002, while Spring Creek is 15-30 ... The Eagles are searching for their first playoff berth since '02. The Gators qualified for the postseason last year for the first time in school history.